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Ever wanted a pizza that is truly authentic, but made at home? You do not have to have a brick oven installed to get the result you want. It will take some extra work, but that is the way Italian pizzerias really do it. Fortunately, this Italian pizza dough recipe is made in large batches, so you will be able to freeze some for later.
Generally, the dough keeps for three months in the freezer. Just take it out the day before you plan to make pizza so it can thaw and rest in the refrigerator. If you are someone who wants the most out of your pizza, this is definitely the recipe to use.
4 ½ cups of unbleached bread or other high gluten flour
1 ¾ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
¼ cup olive oil
1 ¾ cups ice cold water
cornmeal for dusting
In a large blow, stir together flour, salt, and yeast. Add cold water and oil with a large metal spoon, until liquid has been absorbed. Dip a hand or the spoon into cold water to use it like a dough hook, rotating the bowl with one hand and stirring with the other. Knead for five to seven minutes to create smooth, stick dough that sticks to the bottom of the bowl, but not the sides. If the bowl remains too sticky, add a sprinkle of flour and knead vigorously.
Prepare a sheet pan lined with oiled baking parchment. Transfer dough to a floured surface and cut it into six equal pieces with a dough scraper. Lightly flour your hands and round each piece into a ball gently. Transfer the dough to the sheet pan and oil it generously. Slip the whole pan into a large plastic bag and place into the refrigerator overnight. Dough will keep this way up to three days, or in the freezer for up to three months.
When you intend to make your pizza, remove the correct number of dough balls from the refrigerator two hours in advance. Place them on a floured surface misted with oil, and sprinkle with flour. Press dough into flat disks one half inch thick and five inches across. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil again, the cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rest for two hours.
Heat a pizza stone on the lower rack of the oven, forty-five minutes before making the pizza, at the highest temperature your oven will allow. Those without a baking stone may use a sheet pan, which should not be preheated.
Dust the back of your sheet pan or a pizza peel with flour and coat hands as well. Lift the dough and stretch it to a circular shape - about nine to twelve inches in diameter, depending on how thick you like your dough. Place it on the peel or pan and top your pizza, remembering that less sauce and fewer toppings will cook more effectively.
Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, or bake it on your sheet pan at the highest setting your oven allows. Check the pizza every two minutes for doneness, as these high temperatures cook pizzas very quickly - the same way it has done in a pizzeria. Once the dough is crisp and the sauce bubbly, the pizza is done! Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Wait five minutes before slicing and serving.
(Makes 6 nine to twelve inch crusts)